Sundeep Bhutoria

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Raj Bhavan to Raj nostalgia

Bangalore - Windsor Manor, Lord Wellesley Suite
This evening I arrived at Bangalore or Bengaluru - the garden city.
This is one city in India I visit frequently and also have many friends here. ITC Sheraton has an old property here - Windsor Manor. I have been staying in this hotel during my visits to the city for over 10 years now. I have always rated this property very highly and personally feel that among all the ITC properties this one stands out for its superior service and personal attention given to the guests.
Earlier, when our family business was in Chennai, I used come to Bangalore frequently, almost every week. Mr Suresh Kumar was in charge of this property at that time and I used to tell him about the exquisite qualities of this property. My reputation of being a very choosy person, in terms of quality of service in hotels, precedes me.
For a period of 2 to 3 years my visits to Bangalore were far and few. But from 2008 onwards Bangalore once again became a regular feature on my travel itinerary. I, however, started staying at the Taj Westend but have reverted to the Windsor Manor again. Apart from Renu, who is here for the last so many years, my good friend Anil Chaddha, whom I had met at the ITC Sonar Bangla in Kolkata, is now the General Manager. While in Kolkata, Anil and his wife Anu became our good family friends.
This hotel stirs up nostalgia from the days of the Raj and brags of five very elegant suites named Lord Hastings, Lord Clive, Lord Auckland, Lord Cornwallis and Lord Wellesley from where I am writing this blog. However, the Waterloo Suite is my favourite as it opens to a garden from two sides. 
Last few days in Kolkata were very hectic.
Yesterday I was at the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata from early evening. I had organised an informal get together for my organisation The Bengal to meet Mr M K Narayanan - the newly appointed Governor of West Bengal. Besides members of The Bengal, the get together over high tea was attended by many celebs from different walks to life (picture). We were all so pleased and touched by the warmth of the Governor. He himself helped guests with the high tea and personally served us plates saying he was the host and he had to do this (picture). We were initially little hesitant but all of us were overwhelmed by his gesture. Odissi exponent and Padma Shree awardee Ranjana Gauhar's performance at the Brown Hall in Raj Bhavan was electrifying. The basic idea of organising this event was to familiarise the Governor with the city's dignitaries and also the other way round.
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